Bernar Venet was born in Château-Arnoux, France, in 1941. In 1958, at 17, Venet moved to Nice to study at the Ville Thiole, the municipal art school. He immersed himself in the cultural life in Nice and became an assistant to the decorator at the Nice City Opera.

Over the course of the next two decades, he explored painting, poetry, film, and dance, and was attracted in particular to pure science as a subject for art. In 1979 Venet began a series of wood reliefs, Arcs, Angles, Diagonals, and created the first of his Indeterminate Lines. That same year, he was awarded an artist grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1984, he started working at the Atelier Marioni, a foundry and ironworks in the Vosges region of France. Five years later, he acquired a steel factory in Le Muy in the Var region of France, where he fabricated and installed his work on the surrounding property.

Venet's work can be seen in major museums and collections throughout the world, including the Denver Art Museum; Fondation Mourtala, Dakar, Senegal; Milwaukee Art Museum; He Xiangning Art Gallery, Shenzhen, China; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea; Jumex Foundation, Mexico City, Mexico; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.